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Diplomacy in Action

The Central America Regional Security Initiative: Enhanced Levels of Cooperation and Coordination

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
February 6, 2012


“We'll work closely with regional partners like Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Canada, and international partners like Spain, the European Union and the Inter-American Development Bank. This has to be a coordinated effort that draws on the unique expertise of different countries and institutions.” – President Barack Obama

The Five Goals of CARSI in Central America:

1. Create safe streets for the citizens of the region;
2. Disrupt the movement of criminals and contraband to, within, and between the nations of Central America;
3. Support the development of strong, capable, and accountable Central American governments;
4. Re-establish effective state presence, services and security in communities at risk; and
5. Foster enhanced levels of coordination and cooperation between the nations of the region, other international partners, and donors to combat regional security threats.

CARSI – An Integrated, Collaborative Regional Security Program 
The Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) responds to these threats and supplements the strategies and programs the nations of Central America are implementing on their own and in cooperation with other countries. CARSI is coordinated with other nations, international financial institutions, the private sector, civil society, and the Central American Integration System (SICA). It is a coordinated approach that draws upon the expertise and efforts of like-minded donors supporting the citizen safety goals of Central American countries.

Seven Unique Nations Facing Common Threats and Challenges
Although each of the countries of Central America faces unique threats to its citizens, many challenges require regional coordination and cooperation. Central American governments share a desire to break the power, violence, and impunity of the region’s drug, gang, and criminal organizations and strengthen law enforcement and judicial institutions so they can advance the rule of law, resist corruption, and prevent the spread of organized crime. Central America also seeks greater cooperation with other countries, such as the United States, Colombia and Mexico, for support in securing the region’s borders and countering criminal activities originating outside Central America.

U.S. Assistance – Fostering Cooperation – Encouraging Coordination
The United States is moving quickly to help build the capacity of Central American states individually and collectively to arrest and reverse a rapidly deteriorating security environment that jeopardizes citizen safety and the rule of law. A wide range of donors, governments, international financial institutions, and multilateral entities are working to address the Central American security crisis and other development priorities. As efforts to improve the security situation in Central America expand, and donor budgets become strained, the United States, the countries of Central America, and other partners need to focus international assistance as effectively as possible to advance the region’s highest priority citizen safety objectives. The United States will forge consensus with our partners in the region, the Central American Integration System (SICA), donor nations, and international organizations to develop citizen safety goals and priorities, and to come to agreement on the effective coordination, rationalization, and streamlining of high-impact programs to make them effective and sustainable.

For more information related to the Central America Regional Security Initiative, please visit our website at

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